by EFFALO, published
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Although having some drawbacks, a good source of *very* strong struts is the shafts from discarded golf clubs. Check out your local goodwill / second hand shops, where you can find these at very low prices. Modern clubs are usually made of carbon fiber composites and are very light and very rigid.
The drawbacks, of course, are that the shafts are typically tapered and so you won't have a "standard" sized end.
although the struts can be of any length, this connector design works best on small domes, which can be very light and strong. we've been using dowels, but it's not the best all weather solution, obviously. tent poles are another possibility, if you can source enough of them.
some of this is documented here: http://spaceframe.tumblr.com
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to make a sphere, you'll need only six more pentagons (for a total of 32 connectors) and 60 each of strut lengths A and B.
this design uses 10mm holes that fit 3/8" hardwood dowels quite nicely, but feel free to adjust the script to your liking. to determine your strut lengths, use a calculator:
and refer to this diagram for assembly:
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